This Week in High Fashion: Ode to Alexander McQueen

Kittens...this is going to be my one and ONLY serious fashion related note...
From his debut years ago with the "bum jeans" (y'know, the ones that purposely showed ass crack and butt top-curve), to the reptilian madness of Plato's Atlantis for S/S '10, McQueen has always been an inspiration to me as an artist, and his final collection is a reminder of just how much more he had to give.

I was deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Alexander McQueen just a few weeks ago, and I wasn't quite sure how to find a way to put it into words...
Thankfully, the UK press are all over this shit, and they write brilliant things.
I thought it would be fitting to leave you all with a quote I found in "The Times: Online" from London which completely summarizes McQueen as a designer, and his unique vision of the modern woman, which I think we all need to hear sometimes.

Exerpt from: "The monster and god in Alexander McQueen"
"His woman as carapaced insect and rampaging predator is everywhere in today’s hard tailoring, industrial handbags and lethal shoes. His view of femininity was a highly complex one. He saw woman as both the victim and the predator, the spider and the fly — often at one and the same time. The McQueen woman was tough but romantic. Decked in lethal-looking horns, with jewellery that turned her hands into weapons, she was a fearsomely beautiful and strangely attractive sight; wearing an evening dress made entirely of real hydrangea heads in the softest shades of mauve and pink, she was a fragile beauty. Yet no matter how romantic McQueen's woman appeared, she was always strong, never vulnerable.

She was also deeply sensual. When, at the end of McQueen’s SS99 show, Shalom Harlow was sprayed violently with paint, she seemed to symbolise woman as victim: it didn’t take much imagination to see the powerful jets of liquid that were soaking her as some strange, mechanical, orgasmic moment. Yet despite first impressions, for the model it was a sexual awakening and a freeing of the spirit; the victim-predator conundrum was always present.

McQueen was the first fashion designer to realise that our fascination with — and revulsion at — the natural world is often closely linked with sexual feelings. The sinuous threat of the serpent, the biting mandibles of the scorpion — they all attract as well as repulse, and they were all used by him to the same effect. He was drawn to the merciless indifference and random cruelty of the animal kingdom: the leopard overpowering the wildebeest, the shark devouring the baby seal.

Above all, he turned the wanton cruelty of the natural world into clothes of exquisite beauty, season after season. He transformed the vulgarity of S&M into the sophistication displayed by Daphne Guinness, a customer who fully understood his aesthetic and loved it for its quiet elegance and authority. At other times it could, of course, be in-your-face confrontational, forcing us to examine our prejudices about good and bad taste.

On his runways, McQueen made many statements that reflected his restless, roving imagination. He fed on all aspects of life, from films such as "They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?" to models acting as women trapped in a mental institute, to the fears we have of butterflies and birds. Time and again he returned to the biological world, almost as if he were trying to create a new paradigm of femininity: half-woman, half-creature.

He was also a clever entrepreneur who knew how to attract and retain notoriety. Bumster trousers, women with blood running down their legs, a double amputee as a model — he would shock us and, while doing so, expose our individual little skeletons in our private cupboards. Gothic horror always hovered over his runways as a reminder that life is cruel — especially, perhaps, for women — but in that cruelty lies a strange, compulsive beauty."

Full article:

The final 16 piece collection, was shown to a handful of journalists and collegues, at a Parisian mansion belonging to the Gucci conglomerate, of which McQueen's fashion house was a subsidiary of.
Personally, I think it's brilliant...renaissance, baroque, hopeful, sensual, and luxurious...and the only place I have ever seen the thigh high cavalier boot WORK and look sexy and powerful, and NOT slut-tastic.
Fashion weeks will never be the same without him.

McQueen hand-cut each of these patterns ’on the stand’ and chose the fabrics, many of them embroidered with gold thread or printed with Botticelli angels
(commentary by fashion editor Lisa Armstrong, Times Online)

The designs featured statues or religious scenes digitally reproduced from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Hugo van der Goes and woven into the cloth
(commentary by fashion editor Lisa Armstrong, Times Online)

I think this is my favorite piece...restrained, yet sensual...the embrace of tight flawless tailoring, and the flow of delicate material...

Suits like this one...featured signature workmanship - curtain folds of silk satin or mini panniers, embroidered griffons prowling velvet hems, angels’ wings - much more like couture than ready-to-wear
(commentary by fashion editor Lisa Armstrong, Times Online)

I love the drama and delicacy of this piece...golden feathers...and a perfect McQueen fit.

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